I'm sorry I'm a day late on my promised post. Yesterday, Ryan and I spent the day decorating our home for the Christmas holidays. This has always been one of our favorite times of the year with the both of us eagerly awaiting the holiday season! Each year, Ryan and I make a big production of putting on our Santa caps, turning up the Christmas music, and unpacking boxes of decorations, ornaments and lights. It's a day of "holiday preparations" complete with eggnog and home baked cookies. I think this year we probably over indulged in the sweets, though..as we both went to bed with stomach aches!
As soon as Ryan got home from the fire station yesterday morning, we headed off to find the perfect Christmas tree! And, although, our trek only took us as far as the Home Depot parking lot, we carefully picked through the selection of fresh cut trees to find the perfect one. Ryan was such a good sport...patiently indulging my requests to pick up and twirl seemingly dozens of trees so that we could be sure of selecting one with no bald spots! My poor husband is usually covered in sap and pine needles by the time we are confident that we have the right tree! It's a big event for us every year and loads of fun! It's funny to watch people stare at us as we break out in spontaneous "Charlie Brown" dancing (you know what I'm talking about) to the Christmas music blaring over the speaker system... We love Christmas!
Even our dogs, Maccloud and Roxie, eagerly anticipate the coming holiday! As soon as I hang their stockings on the fireplace mantel, they maintain a steady vigil...constantly sniffing and nudging each stocking for treats and toys. We always get a chuckle when Ryan and I come home after being gone for a while...only to find Christmas presents removed from under the tree and laying around the living room. Although, the presents are never opened, curiosity and excitement seem to get the best of our dogs at times... Just like children I've always said!
At any rate, like every year in the past, this year was a buzz with activity... I blanketed table tops with garland and candles... Ryan hung lights...and we decorated our little tree...fussing over every little detail.
I wasn't sure how I would handle the events of the day. Most certainly, I thought I would fore go any kind of celebration this year, especially since Christian died only a short time ago. But, it is because of my son that Ryan and I have maintained the traditions we've so thoughtfully crafted over the years. Christian would have loved Christmas time!
There were several moments throughout the day when my thoughts wandered to my son...Tears filled my eyes as I thought about how he would have loved all the twinkling lights on the tree. By now, my son would have been able to focus a little more clearly and would, probably, have wondered what all the activity was about.. I can picture his little head wobbly and unsteady as he gazed up at his mom and dad... These pictures are so clear in my mind... It's hard to believe... still...that he is gone.
Ryan says that as long as we have vivid memories of Christian...he will always live on in our hearts...and he will always have a presence in our lives. I know he is in heaven and I know he is well, but the selfish part of me wishes that I could hold him again...even if only for a moment. I hardly let myself wish for these things anymore because the emptiness I feel is so overwhelming. The sting of loss so great is still fresh on my heart...and I will never forget my son. When he died, part of me died too. But, at least I have my memories...
This year, our Christmas tree over looks Christian's garden. Instead of my son snuggled in my arms this season, I must find comfort in knowing that he is in a better place. I'll admit, it's not always easy to do. On most days, I struggle with my emotions...always ready to give into the despair that has gripped my heart. Of course, my son and his precious memory always rescues me from my sad thoughts. I cling to the knowledge that I will see my son again one day...I just never thought my life would turn out this way. I miss him so much. I know my son is watching over us... and laughing over our silly antics of the day. And I'm glad for that.